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NASA spacecraft takes pictures of Mars helicopters from orbit

The Mars Reconnaissance spacecraft photographed the Ingenuity helicopter weighing less than 2 kg while orbiting Mars.

Ingenuity helicopter seen from orbit.  Photo: NASA

Ingenuity helicopter seen from orbit. Photo: NASA

On March 31, the HiRise camera team on board NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance orbiter shared photos of both the Ingenuity helicopter and the Perseverance rover from an orbital perspective. They circled both rovers to make it easier for viewers to locate them. The Ingenuity Helicopter looks like a small black dot. Meanwhile, self-driving robots the size of a small car are a little easier to find. The MRO took the photo at the end of February.

NASA’s Ingenuity spacecraft weighs less than 1.8 kg and has a rotor 1.2 m long. Ingenuity has been probing the red planet’s surface for nearly a year, successfully completing 23 flights, far exceeding the goal of five that the engineers initially set. During its latest flight at the end of March, the helicopter flew for more than 2 minutes over a distance of 335 m.

The photo also attracts attention with the scene around the Perseverance robot. Matthew Chojnacki, a member of the HiRise research team, said the fractured bedrock they call the Máaz Formation is believed to be of volcanic origin.

Perseverance and his companion helicopter were exploring the delta at Jezero Crater. This area is said to be the best place to look for signs of ancient microbial life and collect samples to bring back to Earth in the future. The MRO has repeatedly tracked robotic machines on Mars. The MRO project team shared photos of China’s small solar-powered Zhurong robot and its wheel tracks in early March. The MRO’s HiRise camera is a powerful device that can take pictures on up to 28 gigabits in just 6 seconds.

An Khang (According to Cnet)

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